Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Investigators to examine accounts held by Brazilian president’s son

A Brazilian court will allow federal investigators to examine the banking records of Senator Flávio Bolsonaro as part of a money laundering probe, according to Reuters.

The office of Senator Flávio Bolsonaro confirmed that a court in a sealed ruling would allow police to examine his banking records as well as those of his wife.

Flávio Bolsonaro, the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, is under investigation over suspicious payments of approximately $300,000 that were found in his driver Fabrício Queiroz’s account between 2016 and 2017. Both deny wrongdoing but have repeatedly failed to explain the payments to state prosecutors.

EU threatens Romania over reforms

The European Commission said on 13 May it would take legal action against Romania unless it reversed measures that have undermined its fight against corruption.

The commission's first vice president, Frans Timmermans, sent a letter to Romania's president on 10 May warning the country against creating a system of impunity.

The commission said that laws introduced in Romania, including moves to reduce the statute of limitations for bringing corruption cases, have reversed decades of reforms implemented by the country.

South Korean court orders arrest of Samsung officials

On 10 May, the Seoul Central District Court gave local authorities permission to arrest senior staff at Samsung Electronics in connection with an investigation into allegations of accounting fraud at the company’s biopharma affiliate, according to reports.

Prosecutors allege the two Samsung employees ordered staff at Samsung BioLogics to destroy internal documents as authorities looked into an alleged 4.5 trillion South Korean won ($3.9 billion) accounting fraud.

South Korean prosecutors raided Samsung Biologics’ office on 13 December after the country's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), filed a complaint in November against Samsung Biologics claiming the company had intentionally breached accounting rules. Samsung Biologics has denied the allegations.

Goldman Sachs shareholders demand investigation

Goldman Sachs investors Cleveland Bakers & Teamsters sent a 27-page letter to the bank’s board on 3 May demanding an investigation into the financial institution’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

The letter, which was delivered by law firm Grant & Eisenhofer, demands that the board investigates whether certain individuals were responsible for the bank's involvement in the scandal, including Gary Cohn, who served as president of the bank between 2006 and 2017. 

In connection to the case, Tim Leissner, a former senior partner of Goldman Sachs, pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He admitted to bribing government officials to help Goldman secure work on several 1MDB bond transactions.

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